[LWN Logo]
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 14:14:30 +0100
From: Alistair Riddoch <ajr@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: WorldForge Acorn demo 0.1 released

The WorldForge project are pleased to announce the first alpha release
of our Acorn demo. A full press release is included below, and more information
can be found at the following locations:

The WorldForge project homepage:

A description of the Acorn demo:

Where to download Acorn 0.1:

Installation and instructions and players guide:

If you would like further information, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Al Riddoch
Acorn coordinator
The WorldForge Project



>From beneath the firey fog laid atop the Desert of Tyr, the
thunderclouds of war threaten the land known as Cambria.  Even just one
month ago, did the Council T-Nor convene in the great ancient Morall of
Caer Jassad, to call for the Ard Rohorg, to rescue the land from this
menace of war.  The fanatic Shalkrin to the East have ceased relations,
orc raids from the north and south reveal unchecked aggression, and
unknown threat arise from the many other jealous nations resting against
Cambria's borders.

The rains have fallen steadily on the land the last three years,
bringing to Cambria many fruits.  Yet fortune has not smiled as brightly
upon the other inhabitants of Dural, bringing instead flood to some,
drought and famine to others.  From the south raid the Gnarpa,
hunger-maddened wolves raised by orcs of the Dark Vale.  From the
necropoli of the deepest reaches of the desert, the mummified
Priest-Kings of Syllus have sent their skeletal minions to bring terror
and despair.  And from the muddy Nardonar River have risen waves of
hungry Lakos, giant crustaceans, whom some say have been summoned out of
the mud flats by the Arch-Priest of the Shalkrin, to restore balance
upset by the successful Cambridgers.

With the opportunities to trade with the Shalkrin goldmines shut off and
fearing imminent orc invasion; the Ard Rohorg has commissioned the
restoration of the lost desert trade routes through the Dunes of Syllus,
to Tumuljen and beyond.  In the borderland village of Agrilan, in the
shade of the rich oak groves of the Haretone Forest, young men and women
endeavor to raise and fatten pigs, to provide the salted meats needed by
the soldiers preparing for battle. I their workshops, the masons invent
clever traps and fortified outposts, and the caravan merchants transfer
preserved goods to the famine-struck nations of the deep desert, to
exchange for the goods of their massive iron forges.

"Acorn" is the second in a series of games created as part of the
WorldForge bootstrapping endeavour, aimed at creating an engine for
massively multiplayer online games. The previous demo featured skeletons
moving across crude maps, Acorn builds on this by incorporating the
following features:

   * Python scripted, event-driven rule system
   * Client/server architecture using the Atlas Protocol System
   * Goal-motivated artificial intelligence
   * Herding behavior and nutrient-based growth simulation
   * Sound detection and automated reaction
   * Richer collection of artwork, sound effects, and music